Craft whiskey has been gaining popularity in recent years, and for good reason. The art of distilling whiskey has been around for centuries, but the craft whiskey movement has brought a new level of creativity and innovation to the industry.
Craft whiskey is often made in small batches, using unique blends of grains and barrels, resulting in a complex and flavorful spirit.
As a bartender, I have had the pleasure of experimenting with various craft whiskeys and incorporating them into cocktails.
The beauty of craft whiskey is that it can stand on its own, but it also pairs well with a variety of flavors and mixers. From smoky to sweet, there is a craft whiskey cocktail for every palate.
Craft whiskey cocktails are not your typical drinks. They are carefully crafted with precision and care, using fresh and high-quality ingredients.
Each ingredient is chosen to complement and enhance the flavors of the whiskey, resulting in a truly unique drinking experience.
Whether you are a whiskey connoisseur or a novice, there is no denying the allure of a well-crafted cocktail.
So, let's raise a glass to the craft whiskey movement and explore some of the best craft whiskey cocktail recipes.
1. Kentucky Flyer Whiskey Cocktail
The Kentucky Flyer Whiskey Cocktail is a simple yet sophisticated craft cocktail that is sure to impress your guests at any gathering. This cocktail has a boozy, woodsy start, but a sweet tart finish that leaves you wanting more. It combines a high proof whiskey with Luxardo, a sweet smooth maraschino or cherry flavored liqueur, Angostura bitters, and a twist of orange.
The resulting cocktail is simple, yet so easy to drink. It makes a great sipper while waiting for dinner to be served. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy whiskey but also appreciate a touch of sweetness. If you're looking for a quick and easy whiskey cocktail to mix, the Kentucky Flyer Whiskey Cocktail is definitely worth a try.
2. Whiskey Smash
The Whiskey Smash is a classic cocktail that has been pleasing drinkers for centuries. This tangy and refreshing drink is perfect for entertaining, like a pre-dinner drink or cocktails on the patio.
Made with lemon, mint, whiskey, and sweetener, and served with crushed ice, the Whiskey Smash is a perfect balance of flavors. This icy cocktail highlights the seasonal fruit or herbs and can be made with your spirit of choice. The Whiskey Smash is a must-try for whiskey lovers who enjoy a light and refreshing drink.
3. Irish Maid Cocktail
The Irish Maid Cocktail is a refreshing and floral whiskey cocktail that is perfect for any occasion, but especially for St. Patrick's Day. Made with cucumber, lemon juice, and St. Germain elderflower liqueur, this cocktail is a great option for those who are not regular whiskey drinkers.
It's light and refreshing, making it a perfect drink for warmer weather. The Irish Maid Cocktail is easy to make and goes down very easily, so beware! If you're looking for a unique and tasty whiskey cocktail to try, the Irish Maid is definitely worth a shot.
4. Dragonglass Cocktail
The Dragonglass Cocktail is a must-try for all Game of Thrones fans and whiskey lovers. This craft cocktail is made with Obsidian Stout, a rich and potent beer from Bend, Oregon, and a strong whiskey that perfectly complements the stout's flavors. The drink is garnished with a bruleed pear slice that adds a sweet and crispy touch to the cocktail.
The name of the cocktail is inspired by the powerful volcanic glass, obsidian, which is known for its sharpness and strength, just like this cocktail. The Dragonglass Cocktail is a perfect drink to enjoy while watching the final season of Game of Thrones or any other occasion that calls for a strong and flavorful whiskey cocktail.
5. Orange Whiskey
"Orange Whiskey" is a craft cocktail that adds a subtle citrus twist to your favorite whiskey. The recipe involves infusing your preferred whiskey with orange zest for a couple of weeks, resulting in a delightful orange-flavored whiskey.
This infusion can be used to elevate any whiskey cocktail, giving it a soft and refreshing orange taste. The recipe is simple and easy to follow, making it a great addition to any home bartender's repertoire. If you're looking to add a little something extra to your whiskey cocktails, "Orange Whiskey" is definitely worth a try.
Boulevardier is a craft whiskey cocktail that's a twist on the classic negroni. It's made with whiskey, vermouth, and Campari, which gives it a robust taste profile with herbal undertones.
It's a simple yet satisfying cocktail that's perfect for any occasion. The addition of whiskey instead of gin gives it a unique twist that sets it apart from other cocktails. It's a must-try for any whiskey lover.
7. The Revolver Cocktail
The Revolver Cocktail is a perfect blend of classic whiskey cocktail flavors and a hint of coffee liqueur. The addition of coffee liqueur elevates the drink, making it a must-try for whiskey lovers. This cocktail is a creation of Jon Santer, a legendary bartender who has worked in bars all over San Francisco.
The recipe for this cocktail has a bit of a backstory, making it even more intriguing. The flamed orange peel garnish adds a touch of magic to the drink, making it a perfect choice for a special occasion. If you're looking for a craft whiskey cocktail that's both classic and unique, The Revolver Cocktail is definitely worth a try.
8. Toronto Cocktail
If you're a whiskey lover looking for a sophisticated and complex cocktail, the Toronto Cocktail is a must-try. This craft whiskey cocktail is a spin on the classic Old Fashioned, featuring the bold flavors of rye whiskey and the subtle bitterness of Fernet-Branca, an Italian liqueur made with a mix of herbs and spices.
While it may be more bitter than sweet, the Toronto Cocktail is a perfect slow-sipping drink, ideal for enjoying over good conversation. The addition of Fernet-Branca adds intrigue and depth, making it a unique and impressive cocktail to serve to guests. So, if you're looking to impress your whiskey-loving friends or simply want to try something new, give the Toronto Cocktail a try.
9. Port Manhattan
The Port Manhattan is a fresh take on the classic Rye Manhattan cocktail, combining rye whiskey and port to create a unique flavor profile.
The addition of port adds a richness and depth to the drink that sets it apart. It's a perfect cocktail for those who enjoy the bold flavor of rye whiskey but want to try something a little different.
10. Apple Cider Manhattan
The Apple Cider Manhattan is a delightful twist on the classic Manhattan cocktail, perfect for fall. The addition of fresh apple cider adds a sweet and tart flavor that complements the smooth whiskey used in the recipe. The cocktail is garnished with a slice of apple, giving it a beautiful presentation.
The use of vermouth adds a complex herbal note and slight hint of bitterness, which enhances the spice notes in the whiskey. This cocktail is perfect for sipping on a cool fall evening by a fire. If you're looking for a unique and delicious craft whiskey cocktail, the Apple Cider Manhattan is definitely worth trying.
11. Black Walnut Social
The Black Walnut Social is a Craft Whiskey Cocktail that is perfect for those who love a strong and potent drink. This cocktail is made with black walnut bitters, which brings out the other flavors in the drink and adds a unique taste. It is a little spicy and dark, making it a perfect pairing with the whiskey.
The addition of Cardamaro, a wine-based amaro, gives it a smooth and herbally taste. This cocktail is perfect for sipping by the fire, entertaining friends, or ending your day after the kids go to bed. If you're a fan of Negroni, you'll definitely enjoy the Black Walnut Social.
12. PB & J Cocktail
The PB & J Cocktail is a unique and flavorful drink that combines Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey with raspberry liqueur, resulting in the perfect PB&J in a glass. This craft whiskey cocktail is a must-try for those who love sweet and fruity drinks with a twist.
The addition of fresh raspberries as a garnish adds a pop of color and complements the raspberry liqueur perfectly. If you're looking for a fun and delicious cocktail to impress your guests, the PB & J Cocktail is definitely worth a try. So, grab a bottle of Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey and some Chambord raspberry liqueur, and get ready to shake up this tasty drink.
13. Smoked Cherry Old Fashioned Cocktail
The Smoked Cherry Old Fashioned Cocktail is a must-try for any whiskey lover looking to add a touch of smokiness to their classic cocktail. This craft cocktail recipe features smoked, muddled cherries and a smoked cherry simple syrup, which add a subtle sweetness and a rich, musky flavor to the drink.
The campfire whiskey used in this recipe further accentuates the smoky notes, making it a perfect choice for those who enjoy a bold and complex cocktail. The Smoked Cherry Old Fashioned Cocktail is a unique twist on a classic cocktail that is sure to impress your guests and elevate your home bartending game.
The Sazerac is a classic whiskey cocktail that originated in New Orleans and has become the official cocktail of the city. It is made with Sazerac Rye, Peychaud’s Bitters, Herbsaint, a sugar cube, and a lemon peel.
The combination of rye whiskey, bitters, and Herbsaint creates a unique flavor profile that is hard to resist. Its rich history and unique flavor make it a favorite among whiskey enthusiasts.
15. Smoke + Rye
If you're looking for a Craft Whiskey Cocktail that's perfect for the holiday season, you might want to try Smoke + Rye. This cocktail is smoky, herby, and a little sweet, making it a great drink to warm you up during the colder months.
The recipe includes a Rosemary Simple Syrup, which can be used in other cocktails as well, and a splash of tonic to add some bubbles. The smoky flavor comes from burning fresh rosemary, so be careful not to overdo it. Overall, Smoke + Rye is a unique and flavorful cocktail that's sure to impress your guests at any holiday party.
16. Homemade Honey Whiskey
If you're looking for a warm and comforting cocktail to enjoy during the cold weather, look no further than the Homemade Honey Whiskey. This craft whiskey cocktail is perfect for sipping on the rocks or using as a base for hot toddies and other cocktails.
The homemade honey whiskey liqueur is easy to make and can be customized to your liking with your choice of whiskey and honey. It's a great addition to any home bar and perfect for those who love a touch of sweetness in their whiskey cocktails. So, if you're looking for a cozy and delicious drink to warm you up this winter, give the Homemade Honey Whiskey a try.
17. Homemade Cherry Bounce
Looking for a unique and flavorful Craft Whiskey Cocktail recipe? Look no further than Homemade Cherry Bounce! This cocktail is made by preserving fresh cherries in whiskey (or other alcohol) for several months, resulting in a deliciously boozy cherry-infused liquor.
With its rich cherry flavor and high-proof spirit, this cocktail is perfect for sipping over ice or using as a base for other craft cocktails. Plus, the infused cherries can be used in a variety of desserts and baked goods for an added boozy kick. Whether you're a whiskey lover or just looking for a new and exciting cocktail to try, Homemade Cherry Bounce is sure to impress.
18. Whiskey Fig Cocktail
The Whiskey Fig Cocktail is a perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors. The use of maple roasted figs and thyme adds a unique twist to the classic whiskey cocktail. The pureed figs give the drink a smooth texture and the whiskey adds a bold kick.
The double straining ensures a smooth and enjoyable drinking experience. This cocktail is perfect for those who love to experiment with unique flavor combinations. It is definitely worth trying out for those who are looking for a new and exciting craft whiskey cocktail.
19. Classic Negroni
The Classic Negroni is a timeless cocktail that has been a staple in the craft cocktail world for decades. It's a perfect balance of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, stirred over ice and strained into a chilled rocks glass with ice.
The gin and Campari combine to give the drink a sweet, herbal flavor, while the sweet vermouth helps to reduce the bitterness of the Campari. The result is a complex, spirit-forward cocktail that is both refreshing and satisfying. Whether you're a seasoned cocktail enthusiast or just starting to explore the world of craft cocktails, the Classic Negroni is a must-try.
20. Black Manhattan
The Black Manhattan is a modern spin on the classic Manhattan cocktail, and it's perfect for the adventurous home bartender. This sophisticated and complex drink swaps out sweet vermouth for an Italian amaro called Averna, which gives it a unique caramel and chocolate finish.
The addition of both Angostura and orange bitters adds even more intrigue to this already intriguing drink. The garnish is a Luxardo cherry, which is complex, fruity, and nutty, making it the perfect complement to the Black Manhattan. If you're a fan of classic cocktails, the Black Manhattan is a must-try.
21. Paper Plane
The Paper Plane is a lesser-known Craft Whiskey Cocktail that packs a punch with its equal parts of Aperol, bourbon, Amaro, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Originally invented by bartender Sam Ross in 2007, this cocktail has a modern twist on the pre-prohibition cocktail "The Last Word".
With its balance of flavors and simplicity, the Paper Plane is dangerously sessionable and perfect for those looking for a unique and refreshing cocktail. If you're a fan of Aperol cocktails, this one is a must-try.